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Posts with tag inflation

WoW Archivist: An expensive history of gold sinks

The Jeweled Onyx Panther
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

If you had asked me six months ago what I imagined would be the most expensive mount in WoW's history, I would have imagined some kind of giant rock elemental where you rode around on its shoulder, possibly a 10-headed hydra that breathed green fire, or maybe a goblin shredder that transformed into a jet. As it turns out, the most expensive mount in WoW is now ... a cat.

Granted, it's a very shiny cat. It also happens to be five cats. It can fly. But why does it cost so darn much? And what other ludicrously priced items has Blizzard offered us over the years? Read on to find out!

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Taking charge of your gold in the first days of Mists of Pandaria

chopper monks
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen and Fox Van Allen aim to show you how to make money on the Auction House. Check out Fox and Basil's reboot of Call To Auction, and email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

The first few days of an expansion are a little like the wild west. This week, Gold Capped received an email about these first days:

I love your column on WoW Insider. It's been an eye opener for me on just how easy it can be to make some serious gold. That said, I didn't discover it until well after Cataclysm had launched, and so my question to you is; what were the first few days of the Cataclysm launch like economically, and what do you think I can expect from Mists of Pandaria? I had a blacksmith at the time of the Cata launch, and I remember spending exorbitant amounts of gold on ore/bars (he wasn't a miner). Is it a situation where, for the first few days, farming actually is worth doing, or are goods still worth making then? I have a bunch of 85s, all with worthwhile trade skills, and I'm just wondering what the best way will be to capitalize on the newness of the expansion.

The first few days of every new expansion, including Cataclysm, were a little crazy. The first thing you need to prepare for is the hyperinflation. Everyone will have more money, and they will all be spending it. Nothing gets people spending their savings like a new expansion. Pets will be battleable, new glyphs will be available, and everyone will be leveling professions. All this new demand is going to overwhelm the farmers, and for a while at least, the only cheap way to get materials will be to farm them yourself.

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Filed under: Economy, Gold Capped, Mists of Pandaria

Gold Capped: Legally buy gold with the Guardian Cub

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen and Fox Van Allen aim to show you how to make money on the Auction House. Email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

If you buy a Guardian Cub with real money, you can sell it for in-game gold, effectively purchasing gold. If you're one of the millions of WoW players who are constantly cash-strapped in game, you now have the option of leaving the whole gold making process to others; simply buy a $10 pet that can be sold for gold on the AH. BOE gear, mounts, flying training, and alts are all expensive, and making money (playing the AH, doing dailies, selling valor point BOE gear, etc.) isn't the most fun use of some peoples' time. This change will be a welcome one for those who would rather spend the time needed to make $10 at their day job than hours grinding gold. Additionally, pet collectors who also play the gold making game will be able to get a pet from the pet store without having to lay out real money for it.

So how much will these pets cost, anyway? The answer will vary from realm to realm, but one thing is certain: The demand for the pets will spike out of the door, then fall off a cliff as soon as enough people have one. Also, repeat business isn't any more likely than for other Blizzard Store items -- I almost never see people sporting their Lil' K.T or sparkle ponies these days, and I imagine that few people still pay real money for them. As the demand drops off, these will sell for less and less gold. The supply is directly related to the number of people buying them from the store for resale on the AH. This means that the more gold the cubs are worth, the more supply there will be. Eventually, as demand peters out, people will be less likely to buy them for resale.

In short, if you want to buy gold without breaking the terms of service, get it while the getting is good. The gold per pet will go nowhere but down, unless Blizzard likes this system so much that it introduces more items like this.

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Gold Capped: Staying ahead of inflation

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Fox Van Allen and Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aim to show you how to make money on the auction house. Feed Fox's ego by emailing him or tweeting him at @foxvanallen.

Do you remember the moment you hit 1 gold for the first time? I do. I was killing mobs in Ashenvale, vendoring Light Feathers and other various trash drops. It was an epic moment. That first piece of gold felt like so much money.

It wasn't a lot of money, of course -- it just felt like it. But still, it was worth a heck of a lot more than one piece of gold is worth today. The reason: Azeroth suffers from a constant state of hyperinflation. The purchasing power of 1g is always falling, and it's falling quickly.

Thankfully, though, you don't have to stand by and be a victim.

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Filed under: Economy, Gold Capped

Patch 4.2 PTR: Uncut green gems vendor price reduced

Blizzard has already reduced the vendor price for cut green gems (presumably to reduce jewelcrafters' propensity for vendoring the majority of every prospected stack of ore). While they left the uncut gems at 5g, it became much more profitable to shuffle all possible colors of gems into enchanting mats and blue jewlery.

Well, the latest testing from the patch 4.2 PTR has reduced the price of uncut gems, too. On the live realms, they vendor for 100g a stack, leaving a decent vendor floor price for ore. Once this change goes live, they will be worth 50s each or 10g a stack. This should indeed have the desired effect of causing fewer of these to end up vendored for inflationary vendor money, with the potentially undesirable effect of making mining less profitable.

Assuming you're transmuting, disenchanting, or otherwise making good use of 5 of the 6 colors of uncommon gems, this will likely not change your life much. You will make 10g instead of 100g when you vendor a stack of the borderline useless Zephyrite, but most of your money will be coming from the other activities. Also, you can still occasionally sell these to other jewelcrafters for their daily.

Bottom line, though, is that the new "floor" price of Elementium Ore and Obsidium Ore is basically gone now. There are no more guaranteed sales, and if you flood a market (like enchanting mats) by processing thousands of stacks of ore, you can't count on any vendor based fallback to at least get you your money back.

The news is already rolling out for the upcoming WoW Patch 4.2! Preview the new Firelands raid, marvel at the new legendary staff, and get the inside scoop on new quest hubs -- plus new Tier 12 armor!

Filed under: News items, Economy

Ghostcrawler: "Players are going to freak when they see Cataclysm gear"

Ghostcrawler responded recently to a post asking about stat growth on items, and the results were pretty interesting. The player asked if Blizzard had any plans to cut back the stat growth on items before we reach +2000 spellpower, for example. GC had this to say:
"They're just numbers. We don't think it starts getting scary until the human mind literally has trouble processing the digits. If your new staff has 152,420 spell power, well, yeah that's a mouthful. But if your new staff has 4000 spell power, the only thing that can really be freaking you out is that 4000 is just a really big number compared to the 100 spell power you might be used to. Automobiles used to cost hundreds of dollars instead of tens of thousands of dollars too.... :)"
Well, sure, but what about in Cataclysm? With all those stat changes you guys talked about at BlizzCon, there has to be some surprises on the way when we see our first glimpse of Cataclysm gear.

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Researching virtual economies to learn about real ones


Researchers are apparently using economies in virtual worlds like Everquest, EVE Online, and of course our own World of Warcraft to determine how real-world economies work, according to this article by Reuters. Scientists have, of course, used WoW to model real-world behavior before, but that was specifically for something biological, and thus there were quite a few differences between the virtual model and the real application. In economies, however, it's all just money and numbers, so researchers can easily see real patterns and movements in the data.

Unfortunately, the article doesn't go too deeply into their results (and it only talks about their findings from Everquest), but there is one nugget of conclusion: the economists saw inflation spike in one server over 50% in just five months. They say that the population rose on the server, which apparently made some items hard to find, thus raising prices. Economists say they've seen that same thing in the real world before: in developing nations, and in war zones. We can probably see similar effects right around a patch, or even just on weekends. As more people run to the AH to buy certain items, inscriptions or enchants, the price on those is going to rise. Interesting stuff -- it would be cool to hear what other similarities these guys have found between the virtual world and the real.

Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Making money

DKP pitfalls and how to jump them

Kree's got a nice set of posts about some of the more advanced problems with a DKP system in his guild (he calls them pitfalls, which works very well as a metaphor). I've never been part of a really serious DKP system, but just like with any other economy, DKP can lead itself to imbalances if you aren't careful with how people are getting and spending points.

Inflation is definitely a problem I've seen in other guilds -- usually, with DKP, you have a few very consistent raiders, and everyone else can fall behind. And eventually you get a few folks with tons of DKP, so much so that they can outspend everyone else and basically dictate how gear drops. Kree's solutions are good, though -- he offers up "point rot" (points devalue over time, so you can't save up tons of them at once), and a point cap (though even that can cause problems, as people are forced to spend DKP on gear they don't need rather than losing them). The other issues, collusion and upbidding, don't happen quite so often (both of those require players to be rather malicious, and in guilds where everyone knows which gear they should and shouldn't use, you don't usually have an issue), but he's got some good solutions there as well.

DKP was designed
to make sure passing out drops is fair, and Blizzard has put all sorts of rules and restrictions in the game to try and get raiders the gear they need without a lot of fighting. As long as your guild remembers that there's always more gear to go around and that no one piece is worth stealing or causing trouble over, a good, balanced DKP system can help you avoid these alligator-filled pitfalls pretty easily.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, Raiding

Forum post of the day: Using the Auction House properly

The economy in WoW has some interesting nuances. Players spend oodles of WoW gold on their crafting professions, and sometimes manage to turn a tidy profit. I'm often surprised to see some items that are strongly in-demand, like Light Feathers. Shrewd players use the auction house to build their bankrolls. Lomentari of EU-Draenor is exasperated with people who fail to use the auction house "properly."

She is angry that other crafters are selling the same product she creates for several gold lower than her preferred price. The items are placed on the auction house en masse at the low low rate, which the original poster blames on Leather Workers skilling up. She feels powerless to do anything about her "massive money loss." The original poster is willing to accept small cuts in pricing, but has a hard time deal with steep declines in prices.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Making money, Forum Post of the Day

Using the Daily Quests as a way of supplying gold

We've been talking about this for a little while, but the always insightful Relmstein has a nice summary of what's surely one of the ideas behind Blizzard's daily quests -- they serve as a kind of "Federal Reserve rate" for Azeroth, in that Blizzard can control inflation and gold flow by routinely pouring money into the economy. Before daily quests, Blizzard had big problems with gold sellers -- raiding cost a lot of money, as did the various mounts, reputations, and everything else our characters had to buy. But really the only way to get gold was from farming and grinding, both things almost nobody wanted to do.

Enter daily quests -- with just a few minutes effort, players could cash in and pick up a nice chunk of gold. And with the coming of patch 2.4, daily quests are everywhere. Do an hour of quests and you've easily got sixty gold, do even more and the gold starts pouring in. Which means the reasons for gold buying and selling are shrinking. Of course, it won't erase gold buying completely (some people will always cheat, no matter how little effort it takes them to earn the gold legitimately), but the barrier to earning more gold is lowered that much more.

But, says Relmstein, the Federal Reserve's control is a two-way street. Once you start pouring too much gold into an economy, then you have to start dealing with inflation. He expects that the Sunwell dailies will start to disappear from the game as of Wrath, because if not, then Blizzard will have to go the other way to control inflation: raise prices. Think 5,000g is a lot for a flying mount? In the future, if the amount of gold in the game stays the same, it may be even more.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Economy, Quests

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